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Future Readiness Involves Tech Literacy

Future Readiness Involves Tech Literacy

These are kids who embraced peering into the future. Last year, we approached the District School Board of Niagara to create student teams that accepted a challenge. Using tech, they innovated prototypes that would help save the ocean. They blew us out of the water. Pun intended.

When given the tools and the freedom, kids prove that the future is bright.

Future-ready kids. It’s a big concern. Tech, engineering, innovation, design-thinking, entrepreneurial skills, marketing are all part of a students journey. The biggest difference is the manner in which these topics are presented. We read books and were excited when the teacher brought in the VHS player. That was multi-media. Fast forward to today, the arsenal of tools for teachers is overwhelming.

Now, educators and pedagogues are diligently working to accommodate changing attitudes towards learning.

What’s the difference?

Big considerations are given to STEM. Science, technology, engineering, and math. There are variations on the acronym: STEAM (add art), STREAM (add reading). Hybrids such as technovation (technology and innovation) are on the lips of the future savvy teachers. Predicting the skills required for future-ready students has never been more difficult.

Companies in the classroom

Companies are invited into the classroom. Microsoft, Blippar, Lego, Apple, Google are brands that are synonymous with education. There was a time when direct marketing to kids was taboo. As was the corporate influence in our schools. These companies are developing future-tech. Who better to mentor kids?

The responsibility

I’m a tech entrepreneur and an advocate for keeping a finger on the pulse of future trends. I’m a teacher and fiercely passionate about pulling all the stops to prepare our youth for the future. When invited to classrooms as a business, I recognize the importance of sharing what I know as an entrepreneur, technology leader, and publishing expert.  I carefully consider what can and MUST be shared with the students. I’m there because teachers recognize that opening their classrooms to businesses and experts, broadens the scope of learning for their students.

Companies have a place in the classroom

I share how media is consumed as a triple-decker. I remind them that the future of media blends print, video, and social offerings seamlessly. Everything is now experiential. Whether immersed in virtual reality, gaming to learn or creating a video for interactive consumption, this is the level of creativity that is expected for future communications. How to get a message out on multiple platforms is the critical thinking expected of employees.

How do we predict future needs?

The future will likely push it to another level. Hovering drones the size of a tablet will flit about your home as your personal assistant. Holograms are real. Human chipping is already being experimented with. Interpreting animal language with tech collars is now a thing. Admittedly, these aren’t household items. Future considerations are based on the tech that is being developed. Traveling to space is happening. Colonizing planets? Indeed. How will this impact humanity? We should be thinking about it.

Start with what’s available.

Have you ever played with Garage Band? Make music with your kids. So creative and easy. And satisfying. It’s on your phone if you have Apple products. Augmented reality is part of Snap Chat and easy tech to access.

I teach kids how to create augmented reality. I love it. Students are always inspired. They are blown away by the potential. It is so easy to create that students are instantly comfortable with the technology. It allows them to embrace it and to quickly think of the potential of the technology. And isn’t that the point? Using tech to innovate and create is critical to future readiness.

Future-ready prepping can happen at home too.

Just do it. Honestly, try to dabble. There is nothing to it. Read some of the coding articles we have in Brainspace.

I encourage you to learn about augmented reality because it’s here to stay. And it’s easy to create. Make a card with your family. It’s highly entertaining and so impressive.

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